We have now described the sequence of events, decisions, activities and facilities that make up a visit to the outdoors. It is essential that each component is fitted together properly through the design process. While thinking this process through from the perspective of the visitor it is still necessary to take a wider view of the recreation area from the point of view of the manager and designer. It is not possible to design a visit step by step unless a broad view of the area is gained, providing a context and purpose into which the chosen facilities are inserted.
Site design needs to start with a brief. This contains a set of objectives, which should have emerged from the planning stage. It will identify who the expected visitors are likely to be, how many, over what time, and for what activities. It will also identify site opportunities or constraints that need to be overcome through zoning, by design, or by management.
The brief should also contain timescales, funding, financial performance targets, and the various approvals to be obtained before implementation can begin. A team of people bringing together the necessary skills should be assembled, including those who will be responsible for the management.
If the site is sensitive ecologically, politically or in other ways, a wider group of
people may need to be consulted about the development of the design. These might include local residents, representatives of key user groups, local politicians, and agencies responsible for particular aspects of the resource, such as forest and wildlife services, highway authorities and water agencies.
The design team may consist of recreation planning specialists, landscape architects, engineers, architects and building surveyors, artists, ecologists and wildlife biologists, as well as accountants and economists. Each member should avoid taking up a narrow position with respect to their specific discipline and instead provide factual information at the survey or inventory stage, co-operating at the analysis phase, and remaining open-minded in order to contribute integrated and constructive ideas at the design phase.